$10 Emergency Hostess Gift!!

There’s still a couple of weeks left in the holiday season and I’m going to milk everything out of it that I can.

I wish it were Christmas every month.  There’s no shortage of post ideas, that’s for sure.  You know those stores where it’s Christmas all year round?  They’re usually ingeniously named “The Christmas Store”?  I should become The Christmas Blog.  All Christmas, all the time.

Of course if that were the case, you’d never learn things like how to toilet train your cat or how to help heal a gaping hole in the side of a goldfish.   And that’s the sort of information everyone needs access to.  And by everyone, I mean 3, maybe 4 people tops.

I’ll have to give it some thought.

In the meantime, let’s continue on with today’s post.  My sister had a party last weekend and everyone had to bring a “Gimme Gift”.  It’s so you can take part in a Christmas party game where every guest puts a $10 present under the tree. Then everyone picks a gift.  Then for some reason, everyone is allowed to run screaming across the room to tackle another party goer for whatever gift is in their hands.  This goes on until someone sustains a brain injury.

I hate the Gimme Gift Game.  Nonetheless, not wanting to be a spoil sport, I bought my $10 gimme gift.  Once I had made it, it occurred to me that what I’d really made was a nice little hostess gift for $10.  I’m proud to say it created quite a lot of mayhem during the Gimme gift exchange, and more than a few injuries.

Of course, it all began at the Dollar Store.  (when giving ANYTHING from the Dollar Store remove every possible thing that identifies it as being from the Dollar Store … tags, stickers, smell of urine)




In this little gift basket are 3 wooden spoons (3 for $1.25), a bowl ($1.25), 2 mason jars, one filled with salt, the other pepper ($1 each, plus cost of salt and pepper), 2 small spoons ($1 each), 2 teatowels plus a dishcloth ($2 for all), some chocolates and a few of my farm fresh eggs.  You’ll probably have to forego the eggs unless you happen to have chickens.  I can put the eggs in there, because I haven’t washed my eggs of their outer membrane so they’re fine out of the fridge for hours on end.  Total cost?  $10 once you factor in the cost of the salt and pepper.

hostess gift1

Looking at it now of course, there are a ton of things I would have improved.  I would have filled the bowl with bits of straw, I would have tied twine around the mason jars and I probably wouldn’t have included the eggs in the gift basket, which don’t take kindly to being thrown across the room by an elderly Portugese woman in the hopes of not being tackled for her present.

I just tied the entire thing up with the dishtowels and secured it with some twine and added a couple of pine cones because I happen to be abnormally obsessed with pine cones these past few years.


hostess gift4


And there you have it.  The $10 hostess gift post.  It won’t save a fish but it might cause a riot.


  1. Lisa Stroman says:

    You are a pistol! Love your website…can’t wait to ask you a question :o)

  2. I pinned this on Pinterest and it got a ton of pins. Just FYI. You made me very popular :)

    I recreated this from our Dollar Tree in Prescott, AZ, and it turned out sort of OK, but your dishtowel zhushing looks SO much better than mine. I need a tutorial in artful dishtowel wrapping.

  3. Dru says:

    I checked out 5Below tonight. Everything $5 or less.

    $1 must be worth a LOT more in Canada. There was nothing but gear made of plastic or synthetic. I walked the entire store in hopes of finding anything great like you did. Not. One Thing.

    and the smell in there made my eyes burn..are our countries that different?!

  4. Shauna says:

    Very cute Karen. I actually did a similar post on my blog using our farm fresh eggs too and created a free little printable tag to go with it. I called it “Breakfast for the Morning After” because we were going to a sangria and tapas party and I figured the hostess might need some good breakfast after a night with sangria and just appetizers;)

    I suggest, for those without chickens, to visit your local farmer’s market where they often sell farm fresh eggs;)

  5. Alecia says:

    I’m not the only one giving eggs away for Christmas! I knew I wasn’t crazy! Or maybe I am… considering… I’m putting mine in a Pancake Breakfast Gift Basket. Something about stirring devices and eggs screams ‘great present’ to me I guess:


  6. Barbie says:

    I’m curious, did any of the eggs really break during the gift exhange / riot? LOL

  7. Giovanna says:

    those towels are fantastic, and so simple, you always surprise (and amuse) me.
    Actually, someone had the idea of writing a Christmas blog:



  8. Gayla T says:

    If you put that same stuff in a box, no one would fight for it. It’s all in the presentation. You get the GOLD star for this one. The wooden spoons are great but be careful of other cooking utensils @ the dollar store. I stuck a “rubber” spatula into a pan of boiling hot fudge to give it a stir and pour it into the pan. Suddenly I was stirring with a handle. I thought that the rubber part fell off. Noooo, it melted right into the fudge. I kept poking around to find the piece and poked and poked and it was gone. Yes, I threw it away but I must admit that I thought through everyone I knew to think if there was someone I should take a pan of fudge to. Then sanity returned and I threw it away. Hahahaha!

  9. Cathy says:

    Love it! Again a great idea….your brain must be a busy place.

  10. Thera says:

    LOL @ weights!
    Maybe you could put them in the coop and then the chickens could become Lumberjacks and kinda do a log roll thing with them?
    What does The Pie/Cookie Expert think of miniature Lumber Jackets for chickens I wonder? ;)

  11. Langela says:

    I’d love to find your Dollar store, but your $10 gift would end up costing me $652.34 in fuel. Of course, I could visit my Dollar store and possibly find the same stuff, but I’d actually have to remember to stop at it.

  12. Alicya says:

    Karen, I just discovered your site while researching important stuff for work (well that’s what my boss thinks I was doing ;)I think you’re frickin hilarious!
    I have also just discovered Dollarama (apparently its been a period of discovery in my life lately) I don’t know why I havent been in there before….actually I do know but Im trying to be nice.
    Anyway…..I am going to try some of your projects especially the easy ones as I have undiagnosed ADD or I’m just lazy and lose interest quickly I dont know which.
    Sending a shout out from Calgary :)

    • Karen says:

      Glad you found the site Alicya. Now get to Dollarama. NOW. (tell your boss you’re researching important stuff for work that’ll save him/her money). ~ karen!

  13. Nancy says:

    I just love those little mason jars and tiny spoons..will be on the look out for those..Those little Hershey bars are so yummy..I live about an hours drive from Hershey..If you ever get the chance..go there..it is chocolate heaven..the whole town smells like chocolate and the street lights look like Hershey Kisses..Yum City..now I’m off to the Dollar Store..

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – We live about an hour away from Niagara Falls which has a big Hershey store. I have pictures of the fella literally with his mouth open and sparkles in his eyes as he clutches a chocolate bar the size of a kitchen counter. ~ karen!

      • Nancy says:

        Yea.. I’ve seen those bars at Hershey’s store at the park..lol..I’ve been to the Falls 3 times (on your side)but never saw that store there..I love going there..I am always on the go..morning till night..you can not possibly get bored at the falls..

  14. AnnW says:

    I don’t think anyone Can have an Abnormal Obsession with pinecones. I think they are nature’s above ground diamonds. I’ve been away, but I am going to make the pinecone bows soon.

  15. Natalie says:

    Sometimes things look so simple and obvious, but the true genius lies in creating it (and or copying it from a great blog). Beautiful gift!

  16. Trissi V. says:

    Your dollar store is too awesome and I am very jelly…I love that freakin tea towel.

    Its cool that you bring this up today. I made a hostess gift last night. It ended up being a little over $10…but I had everything already on hand, so cost was negligible. A big glass jar (140oz)full of homemade marshmallows, labeled it with chalkboard contact paper and liquid chalk pen (my favorite things EVER) and now I don’t want to give it to my sister for her party tonight…there is something about a big jar of marshmallowy goodness that makes you happy and greedy all in the same breath.

  17. Emie says:

    Fabulous idea!!!!

  18. Nelly says:

    Karen, I’ve recently discovered you and have spent the better part of the morning on your website. You are so funny and thanks to you, I have had a very happy morning!! Thank you!

  19. Barbara says:

    Yes Mary! Gifts we can actually use!!! I have been to tooooo many gift exchanges and received a throw-away or something others would regift( I toss).Done with those type of exchanges!
    There seems to be very little thought in those gifts.
    I would fight for the fresh eggs and “Karen’s Kreations”

  20. Thera says:

    Great gift! What did you get though?
    I am doing a hostess gift for a party tomorrow, homemade flavoured sugar and short bread cookies and some tea’s, all in mason jars tied with twine :)

  21. Elise says:

    Great Easter basket gift, too!!

  22. Mickey says:

    Awesome idea, Karen. I’ve made a copy of the ‘gimme gift’ photo and it is now hanging on my bulletin board for inspiration.

  23. Celia says:

    very creative! the things you can do with just a buck, eh?

  24. Mary Bowness says:

    What is particularly awesome about this gift is that, for the most part it’s consumable and for the lesser part it’s useable. My mum often speaks of the fundraisers she attended (50 years ago) called bring-and-buy: everyone had to bring something and everyone had to buy something. Though it seems odd, the best “brings” were bags of potatoes, cartons of eggs, and bunches of onions because everyone could use them. I’ve tried to keep that idea foremost lately; I seem to have too much stuff so I say to people, please only bring what we’re going to use up that evening.

  25. Alyson says:

    I am drun…great basket

  26. Lucy says:

    I have fond memories of the 60s. As I recall, riots could be good at times. ;-)

  27. Marti says:

    Surely not! I’m at an office of a large U.S. government agency, diligently slaving to justify many (some? Ok, a few?) American dollars on my paycheck.

  28. Marti says:

    I would riot for that gift. Truly brilliant. Particularly so since one of the eggs appears broken?

    Are my eyes deceiving me? Did you give ’em a broken egg? Any thought given to perhaps raffling off the exact location of YOUR Dollar Store?

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